A pilot for any series is difficult to tackle from your usual review perspective, because it doesn’t necessarily follow the rules of an actual full length episode. Instead, what matters is that it conveys the general ideas present in this particular fictional universe and what the show is trying to accomplish.
That being said, Indigo Ignited is definitely out of left field even for a pilot, being produced by a fresh team of developers with plenty of prior experience. Of course, every new creative assembly starts somewhere, and I’m happy to say that (in most regards) Indigo Ignited succeeds.
Within this short animation, we are presented with Kieran (a blue-haired boy with the power to control gravity) and his best friend Galena (a red-haired girl who has no special abilities to speak of so far). They come into direct conflict with The Alderman, a mask-wearing fiend with magical abilities if his own that considers himself a hunter of “indigos” (the race that Kieran belongs to). There are some admittedly interesting concepts presented here, such as Kieran’s gravity-centered power set and the medieval torture device shown in the featured image above.
However, I can’t help but feel that beyond “Kieran and Galena being friends” there’s no real character on display here, nor is any real exposition given in general. In fact, to dig up many of the details earlier in this review, you have to look instead to the pilot’s text description rather that in the animation itself. Personally, I think the pilot could have benefited from even a short slideshow of stylized text at the beginning detailing previous events. A good example of this issue in other media would be the initial launch of Bungie’s Destiny, a massive multiplayer experience with lore that you for some inexplicable reason had to leave your gameplay session and look up on your computer to even find. Extremely niche allegory? Yes, but it works, so bite me.
Narrative problems aside, as a showcase of both animation and voice talent, Indigo Ignited does a fantastic job. There’s a surprising variety of color in the palette, the lips sync up well to dialogue, and the action sequences are beautifully fluid. Granted I am not a particular fan of the style the fights go with (Naruto Shippuden being the best example of how they play out) but I have respect for it and recognize its quality. Sure it is slightly rough around the edges in places where it’s visible that stylistic choices may have been made simply to make it easier to illustrate, and the animation of gore in particular could use some work, but overall I was impressed with what has been achieved with such a small team.
The voice work likewise shows some promise, as the lines are delivered clearly and energetically. This puts Indigo Ignited in a league above a large amount of other independent works, as sound quality is typically where they fall behind. It is not to say that the voice acting is perfect though, as the conveying of character’s emotions could noticeably see some work. But room for improvement is definitely better than no talent at all.
Is Indigo Ignited a masterpiece? Not necessarily. For those who want to be hooked by interesting character dynamics or plots, the future of this series is uncertain. Yet when it comes to cool concepts and well-choreographed action accompanied by an appropriately bangin’ soundtrack, it may just be your next fix.
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